Stellar Newsletter Recap: MoneyGram, Wyre, Protocol 19, Meridian 2022, AUD Anchor & more USDC accessibility!

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Executive Director Message

We are halfway through 2022 and yet 6 months in crypto feels like a lifetime. So much has happened in the industry and in parallel, there have been so many exciting developments at SDF and on the Stellar network. Some of my favorite highlights:

Months of hard work have led up to this moment – MoneyGram just launched its pioneering crypto-to-cash service on Stellar! It is live in several key markets, including Canada, Kenya, the Philippines, and the U.S., with global cash-out functionality expected to be available by the end of June 2022. Justin Rice, VP of Ecosystem, started a newsletter – The Soft Fork Bulletin.  We announced the location for Meridian 2022 (Hope to see you in Rome!). The Stellar Ecosystem has been abuzz with activity like Wyre & Rehive partnering on scalable tools for developers, Novatti launching and AUD stablecoin and Mercado Bitcoin integrating sUSDC. A team from SDF went to Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum to talk about crypto’s carbon footprint and spread the word about Stellar’s efficient design. Also, I started a podcast called block by block (crazy, I know!) where I’ll be interviewing folks in and around crypto. Be sure to stay tuned for new episodes to drop soon!

denelle

Built on Stellar: Wyre

By facilitating USDC through Stellar, Wyre enables businesses worldwide to offer their users a seamless bridge from traditional payments methods into the world’s most inclusive and open monetary infrastructure – all while enabling easy and safe transfers of value across the Stellar network at a fraction of the cost of traditional payment rails. 

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Nium and Stellar Development Foundation Partner to Enable Payouts in 190 Countries

Businesses can now facilitate fiat payouts to 190 countries on Stellar, a network purpose-built for fast and efficient payments. Stellar’s faster, more convenient approach to cross-border payouts improves upon the traditional correspondent banking system, accelerating the receipt of funds, reducing settlement risk, and removing pre-funding requirements.

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‍MoneyGram Launches Pioneering Global Crypto-to-Cash Service on the Stellar Network

Powered by the Stellar blockchain and Stellar-enabled digital wallets, MoneyGram’s retail agent network, and Circle’s USD Coin (USDC), a fully-reserved dollar digital currency, the service provides cash users access to the world of cryptocurrency via any participating MoneyGram location. This service is a monumental step towards bridging the gap between physical and digital currencies in a way that has not been done before at scale. As it develops, this solution will pave the way for blockchain technology to further financial inclusion, creating fluidity between cash and crypto so more people can benefit from the digital economy.

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Stellar Development Foundation Announces New Methodology to Measure Environmental Impact of Blockchain Technology and Releases Findings on Stellar Network Electricity Consumption

Recently, SDF enlisted PwC US to develop a framework to assess blockchain protocols’ electricity consumption and emissions. The first-of-its-kind assessment framework informs and enables blockchain and financial services organizations to consider further measurement of their environmental footprints. The framework aims to quantify material environmental impacts of blockchain, building on existing research in the market.

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Crypto's Carbon Footprint

As the climate debate on crypto nears a pivotal juncture, how can this increasingly popular technology potentially accelerate progress towards environmental sustainability goals? SDF CEO Denelle Dixon joins in this discussion at the World Economic Forum. 

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Announcing Meridian 2022

Stellar Meridian 2022 is set for October 11th to 13th in Rome, Italy. At this year’s annual conference, we’ll bring together developers, founders and entrepreneurs, leaders from traditional and decentralized finance, policymakers, and more to share, learn, build, and engage!

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Announcing Protocol 19

If accepted, Protocol 19 will activate some technical changes that make it easier to build payment channels, bridges to other blockchains, and key recovery solutions on Stellar. Read on to find out more about what those changes are and why they're exciting…

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Freighter Wallet Evolves

It's 2022 now, and along with the growth of Stellar and its new protocol releases, we’re excited to give Freighter new capabilities and a refreshed user interface. In this post you’ll find out why and what we’ve updated with Freighter 2.0, and development we're planning for the future.

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The Time For Stablecoin Legislation Is Now

A stablecoin should have audited, fiat-backed reserves held in regulated banks and financial institutions. A stablecoin should be able to live up to its name. 

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Can a CBDC Promote Financial Inclusion? We Think So

Different forms of money serve different individual preferences and needs. We believe that by augmenting the existing system of wires, credit cards, and cash, with innovations like CBDCs and stablecoins we can begin to create a financial system that serves everyone.

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‍Construyendo el futuro del sistema financiero con Blockchain Innovating Colombia's Financial System Tech Talks with Tomer: Refugee Relief & Remittances with Tori Samples

How did Tori Samples go from being a former crypto-naysayer into an award-winning blockchain founder, developer, and pioneer? On the third rendition of Tech Talks with Tomer, we find our host, Tomer Weller, sitting down with the Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Leaf Global, Tori Samples. 

‍Rehive: How Stellar and Wyre Empower the Future of Finance

 By facilitating USDC through Stellar, Wyre and Rehive are able to enable businesses worldwide to offer their users a seamless bridge from traditional payments methods into the world’s most inclusive and open monetary infrastructure — all while enabling easy and safe transfers of value at a fraction of the cost of traditional payment rails.

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Mercado Bitcoin Integrates USDC on Stellar

Customers of Mercado Bitcoin, the largest platform for digital assets in Latin America, now have access to USDC issued on the Stellar network, which offers fast and affordable transactions.

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Mercado Bitcoin Partners with Stellar Development Foundation in the LIFT Challenge Real Digital by the Central Bank of Brazil and Fenasbac

Mercado Bitcoin, the largest exchange in Latin America, has partnered with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) to develop one of the nine projects selected for the LIFT Challenge Real Digital, a collaborative environment carried out by the Central Bank of Brazil (Bacen), in partnership with National Federation of Associations of Central Bank Servers (Fenasbac), to explore use cases for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). With this announcement, SDF joins CPQD and ClearSale as part of  Mercado Bitcoin’s LIFT Challenge consortium.

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Novatti to Launch AUD Stablecoin Leveraging Stellar Blockchain

Novatti Group Limited, a leading fintech enabling businesses to pay and be paid, announced this week that it will launch an Australian Dollar (AUD) backed stablecoin leveraging the open source Stellar blockchain.

The stablecoin, to be called AUDC, will provide a digital representation of the Australian dollar, and will be secured with a 1:1 backing of AUD fiat value. This provides a distinction to pure cryptocurrencies, which do not correlate or link to any particular market economy, commodity, or asset.

This technology will also create a secure, and permanent, digital record of all transactions and account balances, which maintains the integrity of each transaction and provides a strong framework to maintain Novatti’s absolute focus on compliance.

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Stellar Developer Updates SCF #10

In the 10th round of community funding, 6,000,000 XLM will be distributed to a select number of the best candidates featured below based on community vote. Voting is now open for the 10th round of the Stellar Community Fund! Until 11:59 PM PST on July 4th, verified community members can cast their votes to shape the future of Stellar — and the future of finance!

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Messing Around with Multi-Sig

Short for "multi-signature," this feature, when paired alongside Stellar's support for a variety of signature types, natively enables a powerful suite of features. In this article, we'll dive into the details on how this is possible and create some small exploratory demos to get the creative juices flowing.

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Protocol 19 Upgrade Complete!

Protocol 19 introduces new transaction preconditions and a new type of signer, technical changes that make it easier to build payment channels, bridges to other blockchains, and key recovery solutions on Stellar.  For more, check out the Announcing Protocol 19 post, which explains the rationale behind the changes, outlines the design decisions, and highlights some of the new types of projects Protocol 19 enables.

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Stellar Shop Talk: Building a Startup Leveraging Blockchain Technology

Steve Walker is a previous Stellar Community Fund winner and founder of Task.io and Blue Marble, two projects built on the Stellar blockchain. Listen in to hear about his learning experiences building startups leveraging blockchain technology.

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